If you’ve never been then you’re missing out on one of the most-exciting events in America. In fact, on Sunday night during the “blow-out” all-band performance on stage at the Somerville Theater (pictures coming tomorrow!) I had the same thought of my own missed opportunities. I’ve lived in NYC for just-over 6 years now, HONK! is 5 years old, yet I’ve only been to two of these annual plein air free fairs. I’ve undoubtedly missed some wonderful performances, but HONK! makes it up to me every time with consistently high-energy music and a street fair unlike anything else around. There are plenty of fairs, especially of the music variety, but few that match the energy and spirit – and opportunity to dance in the streets! – like HONK!

See you in 2011 I hope.

The streets of Somerville – HONK!’s axis is Statue Park, with surrounding areas – parks, parking lots and squares – reclaimed for big band performances.

Have bus with travel the band around. The vroom bus used by Rude Mechanical Orchestra (Brooklyn) and the cutie-bus used by Environmental Encroachment (Chicago)

mid-day I accompanied my friend to his neighbor’s move-in BBQ. and during the walk home we passed this driveway which near the back had this giant wooden contraption – turned out to be a project by Sprout & Co. which Jimmie P. Rodgers (Learn to Solder, Maker Faire) collaborates with. Go figure! The wooden machine is very “perpetual machine” inspired, and would be visible during the street parade the following day (again, those pictures will be online tomorrow!).

… at this point I realized I had forgot my camera battery charger in Queens – very unusual for me. So I had to be self-restraining with the number of shots I could take, but don’t worry there’s plenty more to see:

you couldn’t cross the street without getting stopped by a marching band! they were everywhere!

What Cheer? Brigade (Providence, RI) – one of my favorite marching bands. where we wound up waiting was right where the tuba and drum line set up – right in the thick of it!

also ran into Kipp Bradford from Extraordinary Rendition Band (also Providence) – smashing new full-size all-inclusive “democratic marching band” which anybody can join!

I saved a couple shots for the after-party, which was RAWKUS! Imagine 20+ marching bands crammed into one giant hall with free reign to play whatever all night long! And free beer and food, and a wonderful collective spirit! It’s really about the collective spirit, and this was the one opportunity that everybody had to network with each other, meet new bands and exchange stories. A really wonderful night indeed!

and parked outside were some bike-mods, including a disco bike and “R G B” – three bikes with LED strips who together can make any web color!